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Archive for the ‘first year’


double double (major) toil and trouble

Hey aska!
I’m going to uoft St. George for an English undergrad in the fall of 2018. I’m also interested in doing a double major in political science. I’m a bit confused about how to choose courses (how to take ones that interest me, fulfill my program requirements, and are also are prerequisites to upper-year courses)  and am worried about the workload if I do go for a double major. (I think I heard somewhere that it would take an extra year?) Also, I know I’m not outstanding in English and the main reason why I want to study it is because I want  to improve in it. Since my highschool graduation is drawing closer, I’m beginning to have doubts about whether or not I can succeed regardless of how much effort I put in because it’s a world class program and I’m only average at best. In your experience, was there a huge step-up from  highschool English to university English? Were can I find information on courses available to me?
Thanks so much!



at u of t, in order to complete your degree, you have to do a combination of programs of study (or, POSt). you have to complete either: a specialist, two majors, or a major and two minors. so, your desire to do a double major is actually pretty common at u of t. being worried about the workload is valid, you ARE moving from a high school workload to a university workload. however, like i said, doing a double major is extremely common at u of t, with some students even piling on a minor with their double majors! i don’t think you will have any issues doing a double major. however, if you do, that’s ok too. and it’s ok to consider taking a reduced course load (less classes per semester) and take longer to graduate in order to work at a speed that works for you.

god, if i could, i would grab every incoming first year student by the shoulders, give ’em a good shake, and scream “YOU CAN TAKE MORE THAN FOUR YEARS!!! TAKE YOUR TIME!!!!”

listen to me omg GIF

but… i digress.

now to address the question of course selection. most students take 5.0 FCE (full course equivalents) in a year. 5.0 credits is considered the standard for a full time student and it’ll allow you to graduate in 4 years (5.0 FCE times 4 years = 20 FCE needed to graduate). because first year is general and you can take anything you want, it’s a good idea to check out the required courses for your intended programs of study. so in your case, if you want to do an english and polisci double major, you’d want to see what the required courses are to get into those programs as well as what first year courses are offered in those programs.

for english, there aren’t any prereqs to get into the major. however, you should probably take a first year english course anyways as most second year courses and other upper year courses require the completion of a first year course. check out this link for all the first year english courses that would count towards an english POSt.

for polisci, you need to have achieved at least a 67% in POL101Y or POL200Y or one POL FCE or equivalent in half courses. so it would probably be a good idea to take one of those courses in your first year so that you can get into a polisci major after first year.

you 100% should get in contact with your college registrar’s office and set up an academic advising session. they will be able to go more in-depth with you and discuss all your options. you can also get in contact with the program advisers of english and polisci respectively. check out this link for their contact info.

as for whether or not you can succeed “regardless of how much effort [you] put in”… well, like i said earlier, the transition between high school and university can be difficult, but it isn’t impossible. if you find yourself struggling academically, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with the academic adviser at your registrar’s office, or to contact your prof/ TA, who are also great resources and can really help you if you’re struggling in a course. you should also look into the academic success centre, where you can make appointments a learning strategist who can help you learn more about how you learn.

another great resource at u of t, especially for kids in programs like english and polisci, are the writing centres. you can book an appointment and bring your assignments to them before the deadline, and the people who work at the writing centre can go through the assignment with you and provide insight on how you can write a better assignment. they’re awesome. they’ve saved many a paper of mine.

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ok, phew! that was a LOT of information. i really hope this helps. if you have more questions, please get in contact with the people i’ve linked above (especially your registrar’s office, they’re super helpful and a great first contact point for anything academic).

good luck, see you on campus in september!




incoming: lots of info

Hi! I recently got an offer for social sciences and I wanted to accept but I’m suddenly having second thoughts 🙁 I heard nightmarish stories about how difficult and bad undergrad is. I get that it’s expected but I dont want to be completely swallowed to the point where I can’t even have fun/breaks. Im mentally ill which makes things really hard and I’m scared to accept because of this. I was thinking to try first year and see what happens but Im worried I wont handle it. I dont know what to do.



first of all, congrats!

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second– these questions are always super hard for me to answer because everyone has a different experience at university and everyone has different measures for what’s “difficult and bad.” i totally understand where you’re coming from, though. the leap from high school to university can be scary, especially if you’re living away from home for the first time– mental health problems or not! i just want you to remember that help will always be made available to those who look for it. and you’ve already looked for it (by sending me this question) so you’re already part way there!

i also just wanna put a disclaimer on this post: i am just a student blogger, so this response is really from my own personal experience and what i know as a student at u of t. i highly suggest that you get in contact with an adviser at your college or faculty’s registrar office who can give you more detailed academic advice and point you in the direction of resources that i may not be privy to.

so, without further ado, here are (SOME of) my tips on getting through uni, based on my personal experiences and knowledge.

  1. know what resources are at your disposal

this is something i wish i knew more about in my first year. transitioning from high school to uni can be super overwhelming, especially if you feel as though you don’t know where to turn for info. this is a really good list/ compilation of a lot of the resources you might need during your time at u of t. here are a few that i’ve found personally really helpful:

  • health and wellness– it’s where you’ll find info on all the health related services at u of t, including mental health services. you can find out what services are offered as well as how to use those services and how to book appointments
  • student life– where you’ll be able to find info on anything non-academic
  • UTSU– university of toronto’s student union. you can find info about their clubs and events through their website. they also have all the info on the health insurance that is offered to all undergrads at u of t as well as how to opt out of it

2. get involved!

if you’re a commuter, this’ll give you an excuse to stay on campus after class/ come to campus before classes. it’s also a good way to make friends, whether you’re a commuter or not. i’ve personally found it really nice to be able to do something (non-academic) on campus that is fun and that i’m passionate about, all the while meeting and becoming friends with like-minded people. it’s made my uni experience a lot better and fuller.

you can check out ulife for a list of clubs, or just check out the various booths at the UTSU clubs fair during orientation week! tons of clubs and organizations will be there recruiting first years.

3. meet with an academic adviser at your registrar’s office

this is another thing i wish i did in my first year. meeting up with an academic adviser can be really helpful as they can thoroughly explain to you all the degree requirements that can be very confusing and overwhelming. you can also discuss what you want to major/minor in after first year and they can discuss options and help you get there. i personally find it very comforting and calming to have all my academic questions answered by a capital-A Adult.

phew that was a lot of info!

thats a relief GIF by SYFY

university is meant to be a time for growth, and growth is meant to be a little uncomfortable–but i know how hard and scary that can be. hopefully this helps a little, though. bear in mind (again) that this is all from my own personal experience. as i said before, just know that help will always be given to anyone who asks for it. if you do choose to come to u of t and you do find yourself in need, don’t feel as though you can’t ask for help. i promise you, we are all rooting for you!

good luck, young one.

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all in good time


I have been accepted in ST GEORGE CAMPUS for the Cognitive Science program in Humanities (September 2018 intake), is it possible for me to transfer to the Psychology program in Life Science by taking the PSY 100H1 – Introductory Psychology in my first year (since the UoftT website says this course is mandatory for the psychology program).

If it is possible, are there any other courses I should take in order to be able to transfer to the Psychology program in Life Science.



basically, life sci and humanities are enrollment categories and they don’t really affect you after your first year. they’re just in place so that certain students get priority for certain courses (ie. if you’re in life sciences, you can enroll in life sci courses before students in say, the humanities).  first year at u of t is general, which just means that you aren’t committed to any specialist/ major/ minor (or in u of t terms, program of study) yet. so, if you wanted to do psychology after first year, you totally can! the enrollment category you are in right now won’t affect what programs or courses you can enroll in in the future.

so, like you said, you would need to take PSY100H1 if you want to enroll in a psychology POSt (program of study) after your first year. according to the faculty calendar, you need to get at least a 75% in PSY100, grade 12 calculus, and 4.0 FCE (full course equivalents) in order to apply for psych.

there aren’t really any other courses that you should take in order to get into psych in second year as i think most courses have PSY100 as a prerequisite.

i hope this was helpful!

good luck, looking forward to seeing you on campus in september!

arturo vidal love GIF by FC Bayern Munich




Protected: let me nurse your worries

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welcome to u of t, here’s too much info!

So I was accepted into U of T today for Life Sciences at St. George and I also got into Victoria College (which is supposed to have a lot of scholarships). I was really expecting to receive at least a small scholarship as my average was 94.5 (if I include English, because i think i read somewhere that they include English no matter what) and 96.7 without English. Do I get notified about scholarships at a later time or have I just not received any. On another note, I am planning to do a specialist in Pharmacology and Biomedical Toxicology. Do you know how competitive that program is?



first of all, congrats! yay! u of t! life sci! vic! yay! yay!!!!

ashley olsen applause GIF

u of t-wide admissions scholarship recipients are notified at the time of admission, either with your acceptance letter or under a separate cover. if there’s any confusion about this, you should contact enrollment services who’re the scholarships/ financial experts on campus. check out their contact info here. 

as for vic-specific scholarships, the website says that “applicants with an average in the mid-90s will be automatically considered for (though not guaranteed) an admission scholarship when they apply to victoria college.”it doesn’t say anywhere when applicants are informed, but i would assume that it’s at the same time as the u of t-wide ones. on the u of t scholarships website, it says that “MOST faculty and college scholarship offers are made at the same time.” i would contact the vic awards office over any confusion, as i am but a humble student blogger who isn’t privy to all the mysterious workings of this crazy university. their contact info is here, at the bottom of the first part of the page.

i know how closely related getting scholarships and accepting an offer of admission can be– we’d all like to pretend that the school we pick is actually and completely our choice, but in reality… school costs money and sometimes ya gotta go where the money is. i suggest looking into other sources of funding like OSAP (or your local student loan) or UTAPS (u of t specific financial aid). there are a lot of different ways to get funding, apart from scholarships, so if you haven’t received any scholarships this year, looking for other sources of funding could be super helpful and a good avenue to explore.

parks and recreation two funerals GIF

as for the specialist in pharmacology and biomedical toxicology,  i can’t really tell you how “competitive” a program is as it’s based on the pool of applicants during any given year. according to the website, admission to the program is based on a “student’s grades in the following courses: BIO120H/BIO130H/CHM138H/CHM139H/CHM151Y1 and from 1 FCE from any of the following MAT135H1; MAT136H1; MAT137Y1; PHY131H1/PHY151H1; PHY132H1/PHY152H1”. whew… that’s a lot. basically, it looks like those are the required courses that you have to take before you can apply for the program… i think. this is “askastudent” after all, not “ask a department admin person.” you should get in contact with the undergraduate coordinator for the department of pharmacology and toxicology. their contact info can be found here. 

i hope this was helpful! that was a ton of info to slap onto a freshly minted, newly admitted, not even first year student.

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good luck!




program scramble


So I’m a first year at UofT (St. George campus) and I’m almost 100% sure I’m failing most of my classes.

I already dropped Psych100 first semester because I missed the first test due to a loved one passing away, and I didn’t do so great on the second test (40%). I took psych again second semester and most so second sem I have 3 full year courses and 2 half.
I planned on going into Criminology and Ethics, Society and Law but now i don’t think I’m gunna meet the requirement of 70-75% I’m going to need to get in. What can i do and what might my other options be to major in?

My grades so far have ranged from 50-75%.



first of all, because this is a bit of a specific question, i suggest that you make an appointment with your college/ faculty registrar who’ll be able to give you more specific and personalized information.

that being said, i’ll try my best:

so, from what i can gather from your question, you will have 4.0FCE (full course equivalents) at the end of this semester, if you pass all your courses. if you do get all 4.0FCE by the end of this year, then you will have to enroll in a POSt (program of study). you need to be enrolled in a POSt before you can enroll in courses for next year. according to this list, crim is a type 3 program and ethics, society, and law is a 2L program. you can check this link out for what “type 3” and “type 2L” means.

you can still apply for the programs, even if you don’t get in. you’ll find out on july 3 whether or not you got in, then you’ll have til august 8 to accept if you get in. however, if you don’t get in, then you should enroll in a placeholder type 1 (the kind with no application required) program so that you can enroll in courses for the next year. i know it sounds kinda counterintuitive, enrolling in a program you don’t wanna be in, but you need to be in a POSt to enroll in courses, and you don’t need to enroll in any courses that have to do with your placeholder/ fake POSt. after enrolling in your fake POSt, you can take the required courses for crim and ES&L, increase your average, and then apply again the next year.

i hope that makes sense.

hot james mcavoy GIF

if you don’t finish 4.0FCE at the end of this school year, you will still be considered a “first year student,” meaning that you won’t need to enroll in a POSt before enrolling in courses.

good luck!

peace and love,



on roomates and ones

Hello! I was just wondering if there were any websites or groups in place that newly admitted students can meet each other? I noticed the Facebook page really wasn’t filled with students posting about themselves, I am trying to find a roommate! Also, what is your opinion on the ones programs offered to first years? Thanks!



i also just went through facebook and wasn’t able to find any class of 2022 facebook groups. usually, these pages pop up over the summer after everyone has accepted their offers of admission. keep an eye out!

as for finding a roommate, you can check out u of t’s off-campus housing portal. they have a specific area for roommates that is only open to students. you do need to log in with your UTORid in order to access the portal, so if you haven’t set that up yet, you can do so here.

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as for the ones programs, it really depends on what kind of student you are. on the one hand, they’re a really good chance to go super in depth on one specific subject in a small class environment, something that you usually don’t get to do until higher level seminar courses. on the other hand, they can be very time consuming and the co-curricular activities (such as guest lecturers or field trips) could be seen as something that bites into precious homework time.

from a more personal standpoint (i did a ones program in my first year!), i enjoyed the classes and made really meaningful connections with the profs and other classmates. however, i did find that the courses didn’t count towards my eventual majors/ minors took up a lot of time (and valuable credits) that could’ve counted towards that. ultimately, it’s up to you. there are pros and cons and you just need to decide for yourself if the pros outweigh the cons.

i hope this helps. get out there and learn!

 baby book story reading GIF




but can you engineer a home?

Hey there,

I’ve applied for engineering at U of T and it’s my first choice. I’m also really interested in living in the Innis College res but they claim they only take engineering students with averages above 96% !! Due to some personal issues my grades this semester weren’t excellent and my final admission average will probably end up being between 92 and 93. Is it worth putting Innis as my top choice to be considered for it or is the point completely moot? If not Innis, I’m also fairly interested in Vic, or failing that New, both of which claim to only have “limited spaces” for engineers. How do they choose which engineers get to live in college res, and do I only get considered for my top choice? I would like to avoid living in Chestnut if possible.

As a backup plan to all of that, I have a friend who was slotted into SMC and did some last minute emailing and got switched to UC. Is it likely that residences might have extra space if I try something like that?



according to the innis res website, if you want to live on res at innis, you’ll have to rank them first when you apply for res via myres (the residence portal), or they won’t consider you. i’m not sure where it says that innis only takes engineering students with averages about 96, so i can’t really confirm if that’s true or not. either way, i think that if you want to live at innis, you should rank it first anyways. if you don’t get in, it won’t be the absolute end of the world, since the magical res people will place you in your second or third choice.

that being said, i’m not sure whether vic or new also requires that you rank them first. i would get in touch with their res offices specifically to ask. here is the link for vic and here is the link for new. if they don’t require that you rank them first, then it would be a good idea for you to rank them second and third after innis.

as for your friend who switched into UC, i’m not sure how that would work. this is something that you’d have to contact the specific residence offices about.

applying for res can seem kinda confusing, especially since there is a completely different website and portal that you have to go through. you will need to log onto myres, confirm your interest in residence, and rank your residences before march 31st. for more info, you can check out this link.

i hope this helps!

tommy wiseau lets go home GIF by The Room




it is not the end

Hi! I’m a first year, and due to my own personal issues I’ve completely bombed this year. I think I failed two courses first semester, and I’ve already missed two midterms this semester. God just writing that out gives me anxiety. I know I can’t excuse this behaviour, but I lost a loved one before exams first semester & it’s just been really hard but I’m ready to refocus on school, I’m just worried it might be too late. Will uoft kick me out? I don’t care if my gpa is low I just want to graduate



i’m sorry that you’ve been having a rough first year. university can be really tough, especially when you’ve got other things going on as well.

so, u of t won’t “kick you out,” but they could put you on academic probation, depending on what your CGPA (cumulative GPA) and annual GPA at the end of this school year is. if it is lower than 1.50, you will be placed on probation. basically, this just means that you can only take up to 5.0 FCE during the fall/winter session and 2.0FCE during the summer. if, after being on probation, your CGPA is less than 1.50 and your annual/ sessional GPA is less than 1.70, you will be suspended for one calendar year. being suspended means that you can’t register as a student for the duration of your suspension. for more information about academic standing/ probation/ suspension, check out this link.

but in your case right now, you would only be put on probation at MOST. and this would only be if your CGPA dipped below 1.50. so, as long as your CGPA is above a 1.50, you’re okay.

cbs omg GIF by The Late Late Show with James Corden

i would also suggest making an appointment at your college/ faculty registrar’s office. they’ll be able to provide you with academic advice or refer you to other resources on campus. one of the resources they may refer you to is the academic success centre. i would also highly suggest that you check them out. you can make an appointment with learning strategists and mentors, go to a drop-in session with an academic adviser, or attend workshops. they can really teach you how to learn better, which may help out with some of the academic problems you’ve been facing. i highly suggest checking them out, they’re a criminally underused resource on campus.

i really hope this helps. please know that help is always available to those who seek it out. good luck!

good luck GIF




O! math.

Can i study the most basic math course like MAT133Y1 without having high school calculus and only studying till O level maths, I just need to meet the min requirements for econ majoring



according to the faculty calendar, “high school calculus” is a pre-req for MAT133. however, because there are so many different education systems that the university encounters with its newly admitted students, it would be impossible to account for every single education system and how they would be related to the canadian and/or ontario education system. what i’m getting at is that your O level maths may be enough to satisfy the “high school calculus” requirement.

get in touch with the math department. they would be able to give you a definite response to your question.

though you may technically have the requirement fulfilled with O level maths, you might find that MAT133 is a little too difficult for you. there is, of course, no shame in that whatsoever. but if you do find yourself struggling in MAT133, the math department runs drop-in math aid centres with TAs and mentors. i suggest checking them out, if you need help.

i hope this helps!

confused math GIF by CBC






I am enrolling in UofT’s Faculty of Arts and Science Program for the fall semester of 2018, and I wanted to ask how I could choose the Chestnut Residence as a preference on my OUAC application? It only gives me the options to rank the 7  Faculty of Arts and Science colleges. Also, if I want to live in Chestnut, what college would I be considered a part of?



when applying to the faculty of arts and science, you have to also apply to a college. though most people who live on res do live at the res that corresponds to their college, it’s not required.

after being admitted to u of t, you will be prompted (in my year, it was via email. i don’t know if that’s changed) to apply for res. in the application, you’ll be able to pick between all the different residences (college affiliated or not). if you want to live in chestnut, this is when you would pick chestnut (if i remember correctly, it was also a ranking system, so you’d have to rank chestnut first). check out this link for a more detailed breakdown of all the different college affiliated residences and this link for more info on chestnut.

if you live in chestnut, you can be a part of any of the 7 colleges. the college you belong to isn’t just where you live, it’s also the admin and resources that you can access. for example, if you needed to talk to a registrar, you’d get in contact with your college registrar. for the most part, there aren’t too many major differences between the colleges, but i still suggest doing your research.

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so, basically right now, you need to rank the 7 colleges (after doing your research)wait until you’re accepted to u of t, and then apply for residence!

i hope this helps, good luck 🙂

peace and love!




economics makes me a confused puppy

I received an acceptance letter from the university of Toronto, it stated that I have been given admission into the school of applied social sciences in woodsworth college. I wish to pursue economics and in the letter it was nowhere mentioned that I have been admitted to the economics course.

I wished to enquire what is the process of getting the course(economics) I want in college?



first year in the faculty of arts and science at u of t is general. this means that you have free reign over what courses you take, as long as you keep your intended programs of study (POSts) in mind. so,  you should to take a look at the calendar (which is where every course and program in the faculty of arts and sciences are listed) to see which programs interest you and then take those courses in your first year at u of t. you apply for programs after you’ve completed 4.0 FCE, generally between your first and second year.

so, if you wanted to study JUST economics, meaning that you would be doing an economics specialist, you would first need to enroll in the economics major. to do that, you need to get at least 63% in ECO101/102 OR 70% in ECO105, AND 63% in MAT133 OR 60% in MAT135 and MAT136 OR 55% in MAT137 OR 55% in MAT157. you can check the link for more information (and a better layout tbh, i just have no idea what the most comprehensible way to type that information is). after a year in the major program, you can apply for the specialist program. the details for how to get into that program can be found here.

i hope that makes sense.

confused puppies GIF

basically, for your first year, you can take anything you want (keeping your desired programs and their requirements in mind) and then apply for programs between first and second year. so, if econ is what you have in mind, then you’ll need to take ECO101/102 or 105, MAT133 or 135/136 or 137 during your first year so that you can qualify for the economics major.

i suggest making an appointment with one of the academic advisers at your college (in this case, woodsworth) registrar’s office. some colleges may have a first year adviser who would be able to give you tons of information. to be honest, i’m feelin’ a bit like those confused puppies up there over these econ requirements (also, wouldn’t it be fun if aska was run by a puppy? how cute!!), so checking in with someone at a registrar’s office would be really, really helpful.

i hope this wasn’t TOO confusing. best of luck and see you in september!




i don’t wanna be your mom, but…

I’m a first year and I forgot to do two responses for one of my courses. The first one was due last week, and then the second one was due yesterday. Is it ok if I get 0 on these? They’re not very important but I’m a first year and I don’t want these two responses to be my downfall and to propel me into academic probation or something.



i don’t know if i can tell you whether or not it’s “okay” that you get 0 on these assignments. obviously, missing course work is bad and you shouldn’t do it (the mom in me is coming out)… but i’m also not here to boss you around and tell you what you can and can’t do.

take a look at your course syllabus, it outlines all the course work and how much everything is worth. if you’ve taken a look already and have determined that you can still pull a decent mark despite missing the first two assignments (though you will probably have to hustle HARD), then you’re fine. if, for whatever reason, these assignments are like the only marked course work in the class and without those marks, you’ll fail the course well… yikes.

this is something that you would definitely have to discuss with the instructor. hopefully, if god is good, the instructor will discuss alternatives with you and you will reach an agreement. this could be anything from allowing you to submit the assignment(s) late without a penalty, or excusing the assignments and lumping the marks into later assignments. if this isn’t a possibility, then you should speak to your college registrar. they’ll be able to provide you with more information and options.

i wouldn’t worry too too much about this. it sounds like you’ve determined that these assignments aren’t too important and that it may be fine for you to skip them. however, i would still definitely speak to your prof and see what you can figure out– there’s no harm in getting more marks!

and like, not to be your mom, but like… do your assignments.

knows best mom GIF by 505 Games


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